All posts by ashmatic

Brick Breaker

Yesterday I got stuck on the toilet.

As entertaining as bodily functions are, I’m the kind of person who needs a little extra entertainment in the bathroom. Sometimes I like to read a chapter or two of whatever I’m currently reading, but on this occasion, and somewhat predictably, I forgot my book.

If I have my phone to hand, I fiddle around with it. Sometimes I change the settings to annoy or surprise future-me. Sometimes I use the screen as a teeny mirror to check there aren’t spiders on the wall behind me, or pretend I’m a secret agent making sure I’m not being tailed. Recently, since I decided I should get a Twitter account to help promote my novel, I go on Twitter and forget to promote my novel. Instead, I give myself repetitive strain injury scrolling through bite-sized bits of whatever, wondering why the hell I have a Twitter account and what it’s for and what it’s all about, and if I should just delete the fucking thing, or learn how to use it, or something.

But on this particular occasion, I did none of those things. I played Brick Breaker instead.

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The Great McDonald’s Expedition of 2013

I’ve just returned from a lovely week in the lovely France, where the lovely Miss-Matic and I attended the lovely wedding of a lovely French couple, who were, quite frankly, lovely.

While we were there we did a number of touristy things, ate at number of cafes and restaurants, and stayed at a number of hotels, like tourists tend to do. But this particular tale begins with our arrival in a small village somewhere south of Lyon.

Miss-Matic and I disembarked the train and walked the mile or so to our hotel. It turned out to be a cross between a low-budget located-on-a-roundabout-near-an-industrial-estate type chain hotel, of the kind you might see in a British film, or a British TV show – or in Britain – and a cheap motel such as you might see in an American movie, or an American TV show. Or, indeed, in America. The result was the type of accomodation you might expect to find in a joint British-American film production, or TV show, or in whatever province might have resulted if the colony hadn’t gone off in a huff, demanding independence like a stroppy teenager with bad hair and an obsession with ‘freedom’.

Except it was in France.

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Unexplained Bruises

Picture this, if you think it wise:

After a long day – or even a short day – of being a person who gets stuff done, I like to get myself a beverage, take off my trousers, and sit around in my underwear for a while.

Who doesn’t?

The other day I was sitting on the sofa, elegantly sprawled and scratching bits that needed to be scratched, when I noticed a big bruise on my thigh. It was the kind of bruise that says ‘Hey!

So I looked at the bruise, said ‘Hey,’ back, and wondered where it had come from. My curiosity didn’t last long – I got distracted by my beverage, which on this particular occasion was hot, and had a half-biscuit floating in it.

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The Pizza Beast

A couple of doors down from me lives a pizza beast.

The pizza beast lives exactly where you might expect a pizza beast to live – in a pizza shop.

The pizza beast and I have a wary kind of relationship. We’re like the daddy lions of neighbouring prides; rival wizards whose sorcerous towers overlook the same enchanted forest, or the last two bruised apples in the supermarket, desperately not wanting to be the last bruised apple in the supermarket.

Yep. We keep a wary eye on each other.

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Creepy Toad Ornaments

Right now, as I type this, a creepy toad ornament is looking at me.

This particular ornament is a little smaller than the size of a fist, made of dark wood. The upper jaw/head/back section is actually a lid, which conceals a small cavity for storing half-digested flies, lily pad crumbs, long-lost surgical forceps, or whatever else might be found inside a toad.

The creepy toad ornament came from somewhere in Sheffield. Miss-Matic saw it, and decided her life really wasn’t complete without a creepy toad ornament, and so it came home with us.

Although the creepy toad ornament is ugly, it isn’t inherently creepy. It’s creepiness comes from the fact that it watches me.

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Dropping Things Again

I’m good at dropping things.

So good, in fact, that sometimes my natural dropping-things instincts kick in when I’m not even trying.

This is usually fine, except when I’m holding a thing – especially a thing that should not be dropped – like a baby.

Dropping babies is the kind of thing that can get you in trouble with babies’ parents, concerned bystanders and officers of the law – not to mention make you generally unattractive to women. I’m also informed it’s not good for the baby either – but what’s it going to do, beat me up? I’m more concerned about the women.

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Applause

I live opposite a pub – which would be great if, a) I was deaf, b) I could afford to drink, and c) it wasn’t full of morons. Unfortunately, none of these things are true, so instead of going there I usually content myself to lie in bed in the small hours of the morning, listening to the drunken patrons screaming at each other like taxi-seeking monkeys, entertaining me with loud stories of the time they flung their favourite poo at a fellow monkey before trying to get it into a threesome with a genetically not-dissimilar kebab.

But Miss-Matic and I had a guest to stay the other day, so we scoured the back of the sofa for enough loose-change to show him the sights and sounds of our small town, starting by going across the road for a drink.

Upon arriving in the pub, pre-lubricated with wine and beer and the smell of a suspicious vodka that I didn’t allow closer than arm’s length, we discovered that a band was playing to a bunch of locals and their mothers. A girl with reddy-pink or pinky-red hair was screaming into a microphone. I couldn’t really discern what she was singing, but she sounded rather angry.

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Infected Connection

Ladies and gentlemen, cats and dogs, cakes and confectionary products everywhere.

I am pleased to announce that my novel Infected Connection is now available as an ebook.

There’s a NEW trailer!

There’s a website! With extras and FAQs and even a mobile version!

But most importantly, there’s a novel!

So if you fancy some high-tech horror with your tea and toast, technological terror with your coffee and cake, or science-fiction scares with your beer and bacon sandwiches, there are links to Smashwords and a bunch of different Amazon sites, here.

* * *

In other news…

Read the above again!

It’s exciting! And Lappy II, my poor beleaguered laptop, deserves a well-earned high-five for making it through all this without turning into a flaming wreck!

Self ePublishing

It’s time.

I started writing about 12 years ago – which translates to approximately 1.5 years of writing, and 10.5 of furious and intense procrastination, masturbation and staring out of windows, waiting for fiction to assemble itself on the screen before me, and playing tower defence flash games when it did not.

In this time I’ve manage to squeeze from my creative sphincter four full, and two half novels; a smattering of short stories, and two depressing poems. Two of these novels were sent off to the Club of Literary Agents, where they got drunk, and nobody asked them to dance, and they came back home at the end of the evening and had a wank and cried themselves to sleep. The others just got stuck having pre-club drinks at the Need-Another-Redraft bar.

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The Tale of the Mysterious Bong

I was lying in bed the other night, working out exactly how I would melt the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to drown the low-lying areas of the world if I were a supervillain, when my musings were interrupted by a bong.

By this, I don’t mean that an oversized piece of drug paraphernalia flew through my window on smokey wings of purple haze and struck me on the head, saving coast-dwellers around the globe from getting their socks wet – but that something, somewhere, went bong.

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